Ceremony at the Ottobar photo by Lorien Lamarr

Lorien Lamarr Photo Column—Ceremony

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A Ceremony show in 2020 is a wild mixture of their earlier hardcore and their new post-punk new wave sound. It’s like seeing two different bands play at once. Each song oscillates between fueling the crowd to mosh and driving them to dance with abandon. Eventually it becomes a chaotic mix of aggressive crowdsurfing over folks essentially disco dancing. It’s impossible to be bored because everything changes with each song: mood, music style, crowd interaction, et cetera. One minute you’ve got your fist-pumping-in-the-air screaming and two minutes later you’re grooving to a synthy keytar. I wondered if there would be older fans disengaged during the newer songs or new fans confused by the slam-dancing, but the back and forth combination is too infectious to resist, embracing both sides of the band’s personality. Ceremony announces boldly and without reservation that you can dance like a queen and still be hard AF, and that is a message I am one hundred percent behind.

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